Huffing, which is inhaling chemical vapors from common household products, continues to be a problem in the USA. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2010, almost 800,000 Americans had their first huffing experience. This method of getting high is popular across all age brackets, including teenagers, where it is second only to marijuana use. If you suspect your loved one is huffing, be prepared with the facts when you sit down to talk to him or her about your concerns.
Sudden Sniffing Death: The National Institute of Drug Abuse coined this term due to the high number of sudden deaths that occur from Huffing each year. Someone may huff many times without dying, and yet die the very next time it is done. Huffing frequently interferes with the heart rate by making it irregular or too rapid, which can end in sudden death. In addition, huffing, especially when repeatedly inhaled from a plastic bag, deprives the body of oxygen, which can also cause your loved one to die.
Permanent Hearing Loss: Over time, Huffing destroys the ability to hear. This damage is irreversible. Hearing loss is especially possible when huffing computer-dusting chemicals.
Thinking Abilities: Your loved one already knows that when they're high from huffing, he or she cannot think clearly. What may not be known is that continual huffing can lead to a permanent unclear thought processes? A lifetime inability to make decisions, hold conversations or understand reading material is a serious risk from Huffing.
Brain Damage: The euphoric high felt while Huffing is caused in part by the chemical vapors depriving the body and brain of oxygen. In addition, many products contain lead, which is harmful to the body. Each time your loved one huffs, brain cells are destroyed. This can lead to permanent memory loss and an inability to remember new information.
Dangerous Factual Statistics: Freon from air conditioning units is the leading cause of Sudden Sniffing Death. Out of 144 Sudden Sniffing Deaths in a Texas study, 33 percent of the deceased huffed Freon. Many Huffing deaths occur when the user passes out, vomits and inhales the vomit. Twenty-two percent of those who died from Huffing had never huffed before the fatal experience. While Huffing is most popular among kids aged 12-14, it is also being done by children 6-8 years old and by many adults.